Jean Kane

Jean Alice Walsh Kane passed away on October 9, 2020 in her home in Sioux Falls, SD, surrounded by loving family. She was 88.

Jean was born in Summit, NJ on October 15, 1931, to Jack and Jean Walsh (nee Russell). She was the fourth of five children.

Jean attended Cedar Crest College and worked for Standard Oil Company. She met her husband, Patrick (Pat) Kane, at a USO dance at Fort Monmouth, NJ during the Korean War. Pat is from South Dakota but was stationed in New Jersey at the time.

After they wed in 1953, Jean and Pat moved to their ranch near Agar, SD. They had seven children. The family moved to Onida, SD, and later Vermillion SD, where Pat graduated from law school. They spent a few years in Salt Lake City, Utah before settling in Sioux Falls in 1973. Jean and Pat were married for 67 years.

Jean went back to school at age 50 to finish her Bachelor’s Degree at the University of SD, and completed her Master’s Degree at SDSU. She worked for Lutheran Social Services of SD, Children’s Inn of Sioux Falls, and as an independent mental health counselor, until her retirement.

Jean took pride in her commitment to volunteering. She was an advocate for PFLAG (Parents/Family of Lesbians and Gays.) She volunteered with refugee communities in Sioux Falls, and found lifelong friends among them.

Jean was an avid reader, especially the New York Times, the New Yorker, New York Magazine, crime fiction, and poetry. She loved Scrabble, crossword puzzles, and country music. Her former hobbies included sewing and playing cards. She enjoyed theater, thrift shopping, and watching British Mysteries on television.

Loved ones remember her as an active listener, and a trusted confidante, who was always interested in people and their stories. She loved to laugh and had a sharp wit. She gave great advice, when asked, perhaps the best of which was to always try to interpret the words and actions of others in the best light, or to remember that “what matters most, is how you see yourself.”

Jean was a member of St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Sioux Falls. She maintained her faith and prayed the rosary every day until health prevented her from doing so in recent years.

Left to cherish her memory are her husband Patrick of Sioux Falls, SD; children Dan Kane of Berlin, Germany, Sheila J. George (Doug) of Santa Cruz, CA, Anne Howell of Salt Lake City, UT, Sam Kane (Vicki) of Kansas City, MO, Nora Kane of Omaha, NE, Mimi Kane of Sioux Falls, SD, Rita Kane (Erik Passoja) of Los Angeles, CA; brother David Walsh (Chloe) of Vero Beach, Florida; 12 grandchildren: Dorian, Charlie, Ryan, Ray, Anita, Travis, Shae, Sean, Pat, Brennan, Julia, and Isaac; 14 great-grandchildren: Cecilia, Susannah, Finn, Ian, Eleanor, Gideon, Caden, Hunter, Cash, Clayton, CardiMae, Owen, Elliot, and Benjamin; loving nieces and nephews on both sides of the family, including Linda Walsh (Terrell Dixon) of Corrales, New Mexico, and Anita Walsh (Steve Barry) of Corrales, NM, nephew Ben Walsh (Carol) of Ringwood, New Jersey; and many loving friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Jack Walsh (Norma), Earl Walsh (Marie) and sister Lisa Chesloff (Arnold.)

Memorials should be directed to Children’s Inn of Sioux Falls or Lutheran Social Services of SD